Over the past five years, we have made many strategic decisions on how best to grow the company. And over the past 3-4 months, we have made college and universities a priority for us at ISlide. The biggest question is, what took us so long?
Well, it’s not that easy.
We initially started with a NBA License in 2015 and it went well. I wouldn't say we blew it out of the water but it was certainly worth extending for another three years and I'm glad we did. It continues to be a huge success. As we grow into the next chapter of our company, our focus should be college. College kids live in sweats and slides. The college licensing world is also a beast and took us a while to really wrap our arms around it. With various licensing agencies, buying institutions, and independents looking for "easy wins," we had to have a clear strategy before diving into our next major initiative.
As a company we have employed two approaches to the college world. The first, which is the most obvious, is applying for licensing at each school directly. This is what we have been doing with Michigan State, Alabama, and LSU to name a few. Once we get designs approved, they go live on our website and are available for anybody to purchase. And today we can add The Ohio State University to the mix, another major school that we are excited to have on our team.
Our second strategy is more complicated. In the fall, ISlide partnered with a sales agency to sell directly into campus local shops and bookstores. Under this approach, we are able to get into retail outlets without having to go through the time-consuming process of obtaining each individual collegiate license and selling into each account.
The market for college gear is something that will always be there for us. There will always be a continual re-supply of customers demanding college gear as new students are being accepted and attending these schools every year. However, ISlide does not believe “grabbing a piece” of the college apparel market is enough. The college market is something that we fully plan on dominating, and it all begins with licensing.
The "athleisure" world we live in isn't going away for a while and we know people LOVE their college. Whether they are lifelong fans, part of a club or varsity team, or even an alumnus, people have so much pride in their school. They also identify heavily with everything that speaks to their campus. With our mantra of Stand In What You Stand For, we couldn't ask for a better marriage.
Stand In What You Stand For - JK